Best phone plans for use overseas (page 3) - CycleBlaze

Bicycle Travel Forum

Best phone plans for use overseas (page 3)

Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Kathleen Classen

Kathleen, with Orange can you recall how many gB you bought or used per month, and were there different cost choices for different levels?

As Canadians we are used to being ripped off for data. But on our recent outing to Mexico we experienced the liberation of 6 or 8 gB of fast data from Telcel for 200 pesos (<$14) a pop.

Reply    Link    Flag
2 weeks ago
Rachael AndersonTo Jacquie Gaudet

Thanks for the info.

Reply    Link    Flag
2 weeks ago
Kathleen ClassenTo Steve Miller/Grampies

I remembered I had to top up my data in Italy. We were only six days from heading home and I was trying to decide if it was worth it.  Here is part of that entry…

“My data was to run out today, and since we are going to be back in Canada in six days, I should be able to manage without data, right?  I have been using my phone as a personal hotspot this year which has completely eliminated the frustration with slow wifi. Given that, we thought we would see what the cheapest option was for me to have data through to the end of the portion of the trip in the Euro zone.  We couldn’t believe it. 10 Euro for 18 GB. Yup, you read that right. That would be unheard of in Canada. Of course it also includes SMS and Euro zone calling.”

So by Canadian standards, ridiculously cheap. In Australia it was even better. I had Australia wide calling, international calls to 5 countries of choice (I only needed one), 25 GB of data and all the usual bells and whistles for $25. Maybe I will move to Australia 😉.

Reply    Link    Flag
2 weeks ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Kathleen Classen

I was trying to check into this today, and was looking at the site travel.orange.com  This sure looked like it was from the "real" Orange, but it is clearly geared to arriving travellers. Anyway for data only they are offering 10 gB for 30 days for 20 euros. If you want calling as well, then your 20 euros only brings 8 gB and it's only 14 days! For 40 euros (wow, feels like dealing with Rogers again!) they will give 20 gB, but still 14 days.

Am I missing something? Would it be different to walk into an Orange shop on the street? If that would be in France or Germany, would they demand a local address before giving the "local" price?

p.s. One time we bought a SIM at Lidl in Germany, who were really marketing Vodaphone. We gave the address of friends in Germany, and all was well. That is, until they sent us out a "Welcome to Lidl" letter, and the alert postal delivery knew there was no one by our name at that address, and returned the annoying letter. So Lidl/Vodaphone unceremoniously and without notice cancelled our service and kept our prepaid money!

Reply    Link    Flag
2 weeks ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Kathleen Classen

I clicked on an Orange shop in Paris in Google Maps, and found the "real" website. But even here they were touting those tourist prices, plus a whole whack of other deals and prices that I found mind boggling. Here, try your mind on this:  https://boutique.orange.fr/vitrine/rechargements-mobile/mobicarte/#internet

Reply    Link    Flag
2 weeks ago
Kathleen ClassenTo Steve Miller/Grampies

I am about to take a look. I had forgotten we bought SIM cards in Annecy from Orange in 2019. We had just left Switzerland. We went in the morning and were so stunned at the price (40 Euro for 10 GB) that we delayed our decision. Here is what happened in the afternoon…

“One final thought, the SIM card decision was to go with Orange, and at this point, just for Keith’s phone. Between the morning and the afternoon Orange came up with a special that doubled the data.  Funny how that works. Keith now has a whopping 20 GB of data for 40 Euro, which seems inexpensive by Canadian standards, and is certainly enough that I will just tether to him if the wifi is slow in a hotel or we are out and both want to be browsing. We are happy with that decision and glad to be back online.”

And that was almost two years ago so it is unlikely to be any better now. I am going to check out the website now. 

Reply    Link    Flag
2 weeks ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Steve Miller/Grampies

Yes, what's available to nonresidents is different than what's available to residents.  Of course, what European tourist would want to subscribe to a Canadian plan?  I went with Free in France because I didn't need to have an address in France but it was a pain to cancel when I left because I didn't do it before I left.

The Orange Holiday plan we used in Spain was the more expensive of the available offerings but was the only one available with eSIM.  It worked really well for us but we each paid 80€ for six weeks (25€ for each two-week period with 60 GB and more calling than we needed plus 5€ to add texting to non-Orange numbers).  Topping up was really easy.

Had we used our Canadian plans, well, $14 (about 10€) per day adds up really fast and would have only provided  the same amount of data we had at home, 8 or 10 GB of data per month.  

Reply    Link    Flag
2 weeks ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Jacquie Gaudet

eSim is something new to me. I understand it to be hardware (rather than software) present in only some premium phones. True? Was eSim the deal maker because you could not find a place to buy a removable Sim? Yikes, those Orange prices are really high, compared to Mexico, anyway. 

Reply    Link    Flag
2 weeks ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Steve Miller/Grampies

My new phone has eSIM which means I can leave my Koodo SIM in and have a separate system as well.  For me, the benefit is that I won't lose my home SIM because it stays in my phone and I can activate my regular number at any time (and pay those gigantic Canadian roaming fees, of course).

We were actually looking for an eSIM offer so we didn't have to run around and find a removable SIM.  I ordered online from home, specified the date I wanted to activate it, and on that date I received instructions and a code to activate.  I received the code when I connected to the airport wifi during our brief stopover at CDG and activated the new number/data (and temporarily deactivated my Canadian number/data).

The Orange prices are high because they are intended for visitors who don't have European phone plans and only need to be cheaper than roaming fees.  There's probably a lot of overhead too because people only have the numbers for a short time.

Reply    Link    Flag
2 weeks ago
Rich FrasierTo Steve Miller/Grampies

Steve - This may be out of date, so you probably want to do your own research.  But the French supermarket chain LeClerc runs a telephone plan that’s a pretty good deal.  6 years ago it didn’t require a French address.  It’s called Reglo Mobile and it’s good enough that we’re still on it 6 years later.  We use the 12 Euro per month plan and it’s been sufficient for all our touring needs.  You can sign up with a driver’s license and a credit card in any LeClerc - at the desk where they sell computers and phones.  At least we could, and it’s worked for lots of folks we know since then.  Roaming throughout the EU is included (as mandated by EU law), but if you’re going to the UK you would need a separate solution there.  

Reply    Link    Flag
2 weeks ago